Thursday, February 3, 2011

Soup Pot: Chili with Chicken and Beans

If you're planning a Superbowl party for a crowd this Sunday or if you're just looking for a warming supper during these cold winter days, then you're in for a treat. This chili is hearty and spiced with enough heat to be interesting, but not overwhelming. And the chicken chunks in the soup bowl are a nice change from your typical beef chili. Topping it with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream adds the perfect cooling touch.



CHILI WITH CHICKEN AND BEANS
(from Power Foods)
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1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
2 onions, finely chopped (about 3 c.)
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 3/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-in pieces
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 dried bay leaf
1 28-oz can chopped tomatoes (if you prefer, use tomatoes with the diced green chiles already added in.)
1 4-oz can green chiles, drained and finely chopped
2 1/2 c. chicken stock (preferably homemade)
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 15-oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used black and pinto instead)
1/4 c. plain yogurt or sour cream, for garnish
cilantro leaves, for garnish

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat 1 Tbsp oil and the cumin seeds over medium, stirring, until the cumin is lightly toasted and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add onions, garlic, and green pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and lightly golden, about 15 minutes.

Push the onion mixture to the edges of the pot, add remaining 1 tsp oil, and increase heat to medium-high. Add the chicken, cooking on one side until seared, 3-5 minutes. Turn chicken pieces and cook additional 2-3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate.

Add chili powder, oregano, and bay leaf to the pot, and cook 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and their juice and green chiles, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer. Add broth, 1/2 tsp salt, and the beans; season with pepper, and stir to combine.

Bring to a simmer. Stir contents, reduce heat to medium-low,and gently simmer. Cook, uncovered, until bean mixture thickens, about 45 minutes. Return chicken pieces, along with any accumulated juices from plate, to the pot and cook until chicken is tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Serve immediately, garnished with a dollop of yogurt and cilantro leaves, as desired.